Interview with Kree Harrison of "American Idol" on FOX - Primetime Article From The TV MegaSite

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By Krista

Kree Harrison

Interview with Kree Harrison of "American Idol" on FOX 5/17/13

Final Transcript
FBC PUBLICITY: American Idol Interview Call
May 17, 2013/9:30 a.m. PDT


Molly OíGara, BWR Public Relations
Kree Harrison


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the American Idol interview call with Kree Harrison. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder this conference is being recorded.

Iíll now turn the conference over to Molly OíGara for opening remarks. Please go ahead.

M. OíGara: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today for the American Idol call with runner-up Kree Harrison. As a reminder, sheís here to talk about her experience on the show and her plans moving forward. As always, if we feel if anyone is harping on a particular subject, we do reserve the right to jump in and move the call along.

With that being said, letís go ahead and get started with the first question.

Moderator: Thank you. (Instructions given.) Weíll go to Jamie Ruby with Please go ahead.

J. Ruby: Hello. Thanks so much for doing the call today. What are you most looking forward to on tour?

K. Harrison: Honestly being able to go out there and perform for all the fans and try to hug as many of them as I can. Iím so appreciative of my fans.

J. Ruby: Great, thank you so much.

Moderator: Okay. Thank you. Weíll go to Mark Stone with Vista Radio. Please go ahead.

M. Stone: Good morning, Kree. Congratulations and everything.

K. Harrison: Thanks.

M. Stone: Thanks. There are always pros and cons to everything. For you and your mindset going forward, what are the pros of actually coming in second?

K. Harrison: Itís been the most amazing journey and honestly Iím so honored that the fans have gotten me this far and now that I have a following I can make a record.

M. Stone: Just a quick follow-up, are you going to be doing more of traditional country or pop country?

K. Harrison: I donít want to put myself in a box right now. Iíve only put out a single just today, so for me I would love to do country radio and whatever that brings to people, whether itís pop or traditional. I feel like personally Iím more of a traditional artist; but I donít want to be just be one particular thing. Itís definitely country and always will be.

M. Stone: Sure. Thanks so much. I appreciate it.

Moderator: Our next question from the line of Brian Cantor with Headline Planet. Please go ahead.

B. Cantor: So, Kree, obviously you received phenomenal support from a lot of celebrity music acts, but I wanted to specifically talk about the support that Kacey Musgraves had given you. The media loves her. Sheís one of the hottest things in country right now and she just went nuts really supporting your run on the show. Iím curious what itís like getting support from someone like that, who started on a reality show and has now really made it and is kind of a big deal, what your reaction to that.

K. Harrison: First of all, sheís one of my best friends. We hit if off in Nashville and kept in touch. Itís weird, weíre sisters and Iím so proud of her and sheís so proud of me, and I canít believe itís all happening to both of us right now. Yes, I canít wait to get back to Nashville and hug her. I mean, obviously, sheís come to the show and supported me, I love her to death. Iím so proud of her!

Moderator: At this time weíll go to Mike Hughes with TV America. Please go ahead.

M. Hughes: Kree, I wanted to ask you to try to think back for a minute to back when you were much younger and you had a shot at a record deal, and as I understand you finally didnít do it because you didnít agree with the company on the direction they were going in. Tell us how much different youíll be now when you do your record. Itís obvious youíll be older and things like that, but in what other ways will your taste or style be different in the record than it might have been if you had done it way back then?

K. Harrison: To tell you the truth, I didnít know then exactly what I wanted to do, because I was ten years old, but I knew exactly what I didnít want to do, which was more of the bubble gum pop country that was still happening at the time. It wasnít the right time. It wasnít necessarily that I was butting heads with the label. They were amazing to me and more than anything taught me to stay true to who I was, but, yes, there was a lot of things that had happened. I had had tragedy in my family and I think that it was good to sit back and do some soul searching, and not just emotionally, but as an artist. I feel like through this whole Idol journey, it just taught me so much more that everything Iíve been through and all the experiences that Iíve had in the industry just makes you exactly who you are; and that comes out in your music, so pretty much all of the above.

M. Hughes: Thank you. And just to follow-up then a second like you say, you have had a lot of tragedy and yet all the people on the show describe you as just a very upbeat and friendly person, someone you pick up the other peopleís spirits and so forth. What is it about your persona that allows you to continue to be upbeat throughout it all?

K. Harrison: I think that end of the day, itís a choice. You can choose to live your life happy and whatever happens to you, you take it with a grain of salt. For me this is the sweet after the bitter that Iíve had in my life. I like to share that and make people feel the same way.

M. Hughes: Okay, cool. Thanks a lot.

K. Harrison: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. Our next question is from the line of Marnie Brodersen with Wetpaint. Please go ahead.

M. Brodersen: Hello, Kree.

K. Harrison: Hey, I see your posts all the time.

M. Brodersen: Oh, you do? Oh my gosh. Thank you. Thank you so much for taking the time because Iím sure youíre just exhausted; but I wanted to ask you about Keith Urban. I know heís such a huge fan of yours, but I really felt like he was kind of hard on you at certain times, too. I was just wondering if you had any thoughts on maybe why or when he would talk about you not being connected with the songs, what you thought about that.

K. Harrison: I mean I feel like for the four judges, I respect so much and always have, and especially Keith, because weíre both country singers and if any point he would give me some critiques, I took it as constructive criticism, because at the end of the day you canít really grow if youíre not listening and learning from your peers. Yes, I always took it to heart and I agree with him. Iíve always had a problem in the beginning of my career letting the wall down and being able to connect emotionally just because it is a harder thing to do to open up; but I feel like through this process itís really happened and I feel so good about it. Iím happy that itís happened that way.

M. Brodersen: Great, great. Thank you so much. Then I wanted to ask you a quick follow-up about Kellie Pickler. Have you heard from her since last night?

K. Harrison: I talk to her all the time, but I havenít heard from her. Iím sure she understands that itís a whirlwind, but I will definitely talk to her. Iím so fricking proud of her. I hope she wins Dancing with the Stars. Iím rooting for her. I know the Idol family is, too. Me and Angie and Janelle have voted for her on Dancing with the Stars. Weíre so proud of each other and Iíve gotten to see her a bunch at the studios. Sheís such an amazing woman and friend. I hope to collaborate soon.

M. Brodersen: Okay, great. Thank you so much.

K. Harrison: Thank you so much.

Moderator: Weíll go next to Nahal Mottaghian with USA Today. Please go ahead.

N. Mottaghian: Hello, Kree, how are you?

K. Harrison: Iím good. How are you doing?

N. Mottaghian: Iím good. What are you most looking forward to when you first get home?

K. Harrison: Iím not going to be mad about lying in my bed. Iím definitely going to get as much rest as I possibly can because weíve been working our butts off. More than anything, I just kind of taking it all in, everything thatís happened and I canít wait to go back to Nashville and make music.

N. Mottaghian: How soon should we be expecting an album from you?

K. Harrison: My single is released, which I canít even believe that I can say that out loud. Itís on iTunes, and I hope that you are all going to go purchase it. I donít know. The tour is next and I feel like the world is in my hands right now to make a good record and Iím so happy about it. As soon as I can, Iím just going to start writing and collaborating with other singer songwriters and weíll see what happens, but I definitely will let you all know, because I canít wait to share it. I canít wait to make a record.

N. Mottaghian: Awesome. Good luck to you.

K. Harrison: Thank you.

Moderator: Weíre going to go to Cindy Watts with The Tennessean. Please go ahead.

C. Watts: Hello, Kree.

K. Harrison: Hey, how are you?

C. Watts: Iím good. How are you?

K. Harrison: Iím good.

C. Watts: Good. I was hoping you could talk about your new single and why this is the right choice for you right now.

K. Harrison: Iím so happy that this song was pitched to me. Steve McEwan, Katrina Elam and Gordie Sampson wrote the song. I feel like itís 100% me and I couldnít be more thankful to call it my own. Itís definitely got the traditional country roots and the soul that I wanted. I feel like lyrically I couldnít have wrote the song better myself. I hope that people love it. I really do and I look forward to the rest of the record as well.

C. Watts: It looks like I got a press release this morning that youíre going to play it on the Grand Ole Opry. Is that right?

K. Harrison: Today is my birthday and thatís the best birthday present Iíve ever gotten in my life.

C. Watts: Oh my goodness, Happy Birthday. I didnít realize that.

K. Harrison: Thank you.

C. Watts: Youíre excited, I take it.

K. Harrison: Yes. Iím positive that thereís footage of me when I was younger. This has been one of my lifelong goals is to play the Grand Ole Opry and just stand where all of my peers and all those country music legends have stood. Itís going to be hard not to kiss that circle. Yes, Iím excited, of course. Keith Urban told me and I cried. Yes, it was a very special, it was a good moment. Iím happy that we shared it.

C. Watts: When did you find that out?

K. Harrison: I found out the night of the show.

C. Watts: Like last night?

K. Harrison: Yes.

C. Watts: Very cool. Fantastic. Well, congratulations, Kree, and we look forward to you getting back to town.

K. Harrison: Iím sorry?

C. Watts: We will look forward to you getting back to town. Congratulations.

K. Harrison: I canít wait. I hope you all come out to the Opry.

C. Watts: We will. We will.

K. Harrison: Okay, good. Nice to talk to you.

C. Watts: You, too.

Moderator: Thank you. Weíll go to Virginia Baldwin with US Weekly. Please go ahead.

V. Baldwin: Hello, Kree. Happy Birthday.

K. Harrison: Hello, girl, thank you so much. Itís not too shabby.

V. Baldwin: I just have one quick question for you. In terms of looking back on your whole Idol experience, is there one judge that was your favorite or that you respect the most? Whatís your opinion on that?

K. Harrison: They have brought so many different things and opinions and advice to me, I canít imagine just picking one because I respect all of them for so many different reasons. Last night being able to play with Randy and Keith, obviously Travis, but those two judges that theyíve all rooted for me and I was so thankful for it. Yes, I couldnít possibly pick one. I do love Keith and I hope that we get to collaborate more in the future.

V. Baldwin: Okay, very cool. Thank you so much.

K. Harrison: Thank you so much.

Moderator: We have a question from the line of Sharyn Jackson with Xfinity TV. Please go ahead.

S. Jackson: Hello, Kree. Happy Birthday. I was wondering after the finale performances, did you think that you would win and how much did you want to win?

K. Harrison: I think that we were all we were in it to win it, as Randy would say, but at the end of the day the title for me is not just the American Idol, because I feel like Iíve already reached a limit of creating a following and thatís is what each of us came here to do. Standing there last night with Candy, I was so fricking proud of her and sheís so proud of me, weíre living our dreams right now, whether or not I have that title. I feel like I have one. Iím runner-up and Iím so blessed that I could be a part of this journey, and I feel like itís made me even more of an artist, so Iím happy, and so Iím over the moon about it.

S. Jackson: Just as a follow-up, when you were standing there with Candice waiting for Ryan to give you the final announcement of who won, what was going through your head?

K. Harrison: What was going through my head is what I was saying out loud. We were both telling each other how proud we were and I said if you make it, if you win, you better sing your butt off. She was laughing at me. Have you heard her? I was so fricking proud of her. Sheís incredible and weíre both rooting for each other. Go get both of our singles.

S. Jackson: Thanks.

K. Harrison: Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question from the line of Beth Kwiatkowski with Reality TV World. Please go ahead.

B. Kwiatkowski: Hello, Kree. Congratulations on being the runner-up and Happy Birthday.

K. Harrison: Thank you.

B. Kwiatkowski: I just want to get a little more specific about the question that you were just asked. Going into the results, did you feel like you had an equal shot to win against Candice, or based upon your set of performances Wednesday night and judgesí comments, did you think or have a gut feeling the title was going to go to Candice?

K. Harrison: I never know whatís going to happen. Itís always been in Americaís hands, but the truth is the whole top ten, weíre all so completely different and especially me and Candice. Itís apples and oranges as far as music goes and two totally different artists, so I had no idea what was going to happen, but either way the result I feel like it was win/win situation for both of us.

B. Kwiatkowski: Okay, great. You seemed shocked when Ryan Seacrest announced that you got voted into the finale and Angie was going home.

K. Harrison: I was.

B. Kwiatkowski: Yes, I was going to ask you was it actually the case, and what was going through your mind in that moment?

K. Harrison: Yes, if you canít tell, Iím not a very good actress, so what you see is what you get. I definitely was shocked and not because I donít feel likeóI feel like all of us deserve it, but I think it was just a moment of reality. I try to live in the moment each step of this whole process. Whenever he called me name, I could not believe that I was going to be able to perform another week. I was just so happy and the support, you feel at that very moment like, wow, all of you people voted for me to sing another week, and that was just such an amazing feeling, so yes, I was shocked.

B. Kwiatkowski: Okay. Thank you, Kree.

K. Harrison: Thank you.

Moderator: We have a question from the Jennifer Maurer with Please go ahead.

J. Maurer: Hello, Kree. Happy birthday and congratulations.

K. Harrison: Thank you. I love all this birthday love.

J. Maurer: Yes, youíll get a lot more, I have a feeling. I want to thank you for taking time with us today as well.

K. Harrison: Thank you for having me.

J. Maurer: Sure. Iíve love to get from you what your feeling was after the show last night. First of all, what was it like to be reunited with the top ten and what did you all do to celebrate?

K. Harrison: They all sang me Happy Birthday, was really awesome, but we had a fricking show of our lives, are you kidding? It was so much fun and I tweeted earlier, the best part about it was celebrating the finale with the Idol family; not just the contestants, but the whole crew. You become so close to these people that you work with every single day. We spend every waking moment with each other, so it was very special. It was an amazing night.

J. Maurer: Great. Now as a follow-up question, looking forward to creating your album and things and going back to Nashville, what are some of the things you look forward to most? It is being in the studio? Is it touring? Do you have a preference one over the other? What are you most excited about?

K. Harrison: The whole process is exciting in itself because it is such a process. You rewrite, you listen to songs. You go in the studio and you create what is yours. Itís like birth. Itís like Iím creating your baby and to go out and share it with the world, all of the above. Itís what we live for, so I canít wait for all of it to tell you the truth.

J. Maurer: Great, all the best. Thank you very much.

K. Harrison: Thank you, thank you.

Moderator: We go to MJ Santilli: with MJís Big Blog. Please go ahead.

MJ Santilli: Hello, Kree. You and Candice are just one of the best top twos ever. Iím such a fan.

K. Harrison: Thank you.

MJ Santilli: I was wondering about when you chose to go first after the coin toss, if you could talk a little bit about when you chose that?

K. Harrison: You know what, at that moment I was just like I donít care if I go first or second. Itís just two of us. I get to sing at the finale and Iím fricking excited about it. I donít know. They said what do you want and I asked her first and she said I want to go second, so I said fine. I donít care. I was just so happy to be able to perform again.

MJ Santilli: I also was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about the tour. On Twitter you mentioned that you were hoping to sing Up To The Mountain.

K. Harrison: Yes.

MJ Santilli: Can you maybe give us a clue as to what you might, of course, youíll be singing your single, but anything else you can tell us about your set?

K. Harrison: You know what? Honestly I donít know, but I would hope that people would give me suggestions for what they want to hear, because I think that I could pretty much pick anything, not just the songs that I performed on the show, but I would love to sing Up To The Mountain. Iíve always been a huge fan of Patty Griffin; she wrote that song and sheís an amazing singer. Thereís a connection with that song, because Iíve always loved it. My mom loves that song, so I would love to bring that energy every night.

MJ Santilli: Your cover of that is just gorgeous.

K. Harrison: Thank you.

MJ Santilli: Thanks, Kree.

K. Harrison: Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question from the line of David Bethke with Please go ahead.

D. Bethke: Kree, Happy Birthday.

K. Harrison: Thank you.

D. Bethke: This has to be an amazing birthday present for you.

K. Harrison: There are so many things to celebrate, Iím just trying to pick one.

D. Bethke: The first question I have, Ryan Seacrest, yesterday, he said that auditions for Season 13 are already underway. Do you have any advice for upcoming Idols are going to be on the show next season?

K. Harrison: Sure I do. Pace yourself, first of all, but more than anything I feel like the beauty of coming into such an amazing situation and competition is that you have to know who you are as an artist, because I feel like thatís what will make you stand out.

D. Bethke: Then a follow-up question that I had, after all was said and done last night, what did you do? Did you go out and celebrate? You just go to where youíre staying and relax? What did you do?

K. Harrison: I did a little bit of both. The adrenalin that me and Candy were feeling last night was over the moon, so it was hard to just like go and sit down. We were physically exhausted, so we went out to the after party, the wrap party, and got to hug everybody that weíve made family with basically. They all sang happy birthday and obviously we celebrated just the top ten and each other and the fact that weíre getting to go on tour. Yes, it was a really fun night and then I went to sleep because I was exhausted.

D. Bethke: Awesome, awesome. Thank you very much and congratulations on everything. Good luck with everything in the future.

K. Harrison: Thank you so much.

Moderator: Our next question will be from the line of Susan Yeager with Enterteenment News. Please go ahead.

S. Yeager: Hello, Kree. Happy Birthday.

K. Harrison: How are you doing?

S. Yeager: Iím good, thanks. I just wanted to know this was such a professional group this year. What did you learn from the other contestants?

K. Harrison: Oh my God, so many things. Iím inspired every day by how much that weíve all grown, to be honest. We all bring something so totally different to the table, and the fact that we get to go on tour together and get to do that every single night is such an amazing thing, but theyíve taught me so many things. Iíve learned a ton.

S. Yeager: Who are you most looking forward to hearing on the tour other than your set?

K. Harrison: Everyone. Weíre all so different I couldnít possibly choose one, but I am excited to collaborate for sure. Hopefully me and Candy get to do another duet and obviously Angie and just all the girls really. Angie is like my little sister at this point. Weíve roomed together since Vegas and Iím so fricking proud of all of them. Janelle, AmberÖ Janelleís performance last night I couldnít believe. Like sheís a star and she killed it. She really did. I was so proud of everyone.

S. Yeager: Thanks so much. We look forward to what comes next.

K. Harrison: Thank you.

S. Yeager: Thank you.

Moderator: Our next question from the line of Jamie Ruby with Please go ahead.

J. Ruby: Hello again. So throughout the whole season what surprised you most that you found out that you werenít expecting?

K. Harrison: Just how much work goes into the show. Not just for us, but for everybody, thereís so much hard working people behind the scenes; and I had no idea that that really happened that way. Iím happy to be a part of that experience and to make such good friends throughout this process.

J. Ruby: Great. What will you miss most?

K. Harrison: The Idol family, really. I know I say that as Iíve said a thousand times, but really the cast and crew I adore. I really do, and then weíve spent every day together for a while and Iím really going to miss them. Iím going to try and stay in touch with as many of them as I can.

J. Ruby: Great, thanks.

K. Harrison: Thank you.

Moderator: Weíll go to Carmen Rasmusen-Herbert with Deseret News. Please go ahead.

C. Rasmusen-Herbert: Hello, Kree.

K. Harrison: Hello, how are you doing?

C. Rasmusen-Herbert: Good. I was a former contestant. I was on Season 2 of American Idol.

K. Harrison: Oh, amazing.

C. Rasmusen-Herbert: I know, so as a contestant, I kind of feel like my life was pre-Idol and then post-Idol. It was such a defining moment in my life. So my question for you is how do you feel like this has changed you, not only as a person, but as an entertainer? What lessons have you learned about yourself being on the show?

K. Harrison: Iíve learned to just keep being myself and staying true to who am I as an artist. I feel like more than anything thatís what people love and itís relatable to just be who you are, especially as a performer. Iíve really put down that wall as much as possible.

C. Rasmusen-Herbert: Awesome. Then just a fun one, we had rituals we would do before the show. Weíd eat like lemon honey water and weíd all sing silly songs and say prayers. What kind of fun stuff did you guys do to get pumped up and energized and ready for the show?

K. Harrison: Pretty much that. Right before like literally we would all walk out, especially us girls, and we would just dance around and be silly and kind of take in the moment. You know how it is; itís fast-paced. Yes, it was really cool to share that experience with such an amazing crew, cast.

C. Rasmusen-Herbert: Absolutely awesome. Thank you so much and Happy Birthday.

K. Harrison: Thank you. Itís nice to meet you.

C. Rasmusen-Herbert: Yes, nice to meet you over the phone.

Moderator: Weíll go to Krista Chain with TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.

K. Chain: Hello, Kree.

K. Harrison: Hello. How are you doing?

K. Chain: Iím doing good. How are you?

K. Harrison: Iím good.

K. Chain: I apologize if this question has already been asked. I was a few minutes late into the call. Who is someone that you would like to work with in the future?

K. Harrison: Oh man, honestly thereís so many people for so many different reasons I couldnít possibly name one. I know that June 4th Iím playing the Opry now and I canít even really fathom that, and say it out loud itís so crazy. But I know Keith Urban will be there, so maybe something will happen. I would love to collaborate with him; weíll see.

K. Chain: Okay, great. What do you think about the panel for the judges next year? Who would you like to see for the judges?

K. Harrison: Oh man, I donít know. Whoever will be great. I havenít really thought about it. Your accent is amazing. Where are you from?

K. Chain: Iím from Alabama.

K. Harrison: I hear it. Itís nice.

K. Chain: Thank you. I appreciate that.

K. Harrison: Youíre welcome. Nice to talk to you.

Moderator: Our last question is from the line of Mike Hughes with TV America. Please go ahead.

M. Hughes: Kree, one of the key things about when you let Candice sing last is Candice had such as big knock-out song for her last song. When you let her sing last, were you aware of that? Had you heard her sing it? Did you know how powerful her last song was going to be?

K. Harrison: Every song that Candice will ever sing is powerful. Of course I did. Iím so fricking proud of her and I thought it was the best idea ever to start that a cappella. It brought something different to that, her second rendition of that song. Yes, weíre so fricking proud of each other and go buy both of our singles.

M. Hughes: Okay. The other thing I was going to ask you is they used to pin bad songs on people for their first single and they used to force them. They said this is your song and you have to take it, but nowadays people have been getting good songs for their first song out. You said that the song was pitched to you, so describe did you get several choices of songs, or how did that go?

K. Harrison: Thereís a team of people constantly working throughout this whole experience, throughout this whole process, and I honestly really do trust them. Yes, theyíve worked their butts off trying to find songs for all of the top ten. Iím lucky enough to be able to have found the perfect single. Yes, I definitely trusted them and whenever they did play it for me, I knew immediately that that was the one because lyrically I mean every word and I just believe that itís such a good country song and I think people seem to really like it and hopefully buy the rest of the record.

Moderator: Thank you. Iíll turn it back to our speakers for any closing remarks.

M. OíGara: So at this point weíre going to wrap the conference call for today. Thank you, everyone, for joining us. As a reminder, auditions cities and dates for American Idol Season 13 can be found on At this point Iím going to turn it back over to Kree for some final remarks. Kree?

K. Harrison: I just want to thank you all so much. Wherever you all are, you all should come out to the tour. I know it starts June 29th and, yes, Iíd love to meet all of you.

M. OíGara: Okay. If we could just provide dial-in information for the replay, weíll be all set.

Moderator: Very good. Ladies and gentlemen, this conference call is being made available for replay, and the replay of the conference begins today at 11:00 a.m. and that is in the Pacific time zone. The replay runs until May 22nd at midnight Pacific.

That will conclude your teleconference for today. Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T Executive TeleConference Service. You may now disconnect.

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